I watched Rage last Friday night for the first time in a while. Strange as it may seem, I think I caught Rage probably about twice between the years 1996-2002. It just wasn't on my radar at all, especially after JJJ took over its programming and made it merely a visual sidekick to its equally dull radio broadcast. Anyway, for whatever reason, in the last two years or so I've actually found myself watching bits and pieces of it to amuse myself.
"Bad" music doesn't upset me like it used to when I was a pent-up, know-it-all 20-year-old jack-off with a chip on my shoulder the size of Mt. Rushmore, but every once in a while I'll hear a song that brings out that old sense of repulsion buried (repressed?) deep in my psych, and such music can usually be heard on Rage.
Last Friday they had a bit of a "New Rock" special, or Garage Revival Night or whatever, and the overwhelmingly putrid nature of the music hit me like a rock. I'm not talking about the White Stripes or the Strokes - they don't offend me at all (nor do they interest me, come to think of it) - I'm talking about those nth-generation wannabes shamelessly hitching on the bandwagon with THE SAME GODDAMN SOUND AS EVERY OTHER FREAKING BAND PURPORTING TO BE "THE NEW WAVE OF REAL ROCK'N'ROLL". Two words: my ass!
The same suits, the same clips, the same riffs, the same subject matter. Want a name? Couldn't recall a single one, they went through me like a bag of prunes. Tell me this: how could anyone in this day and age with a sense of dignity actually form a two-piece (drums and guitar) garage outfit thinking they could possibly get away with not being seen as a couple of gormless, gutless, wholeheartedly derivative douchebags?
Whilst watching the show, I turned to my equally-disgusted wife and said, "Isn't this possibly the worst shit ever? I mean, doesn't just about every one of these bands blow like a mighty gust of wind? Why don't they just play something openly and unashamedly trivial and fabricated like Justin Timberlake or Christina Aguilera - something utterly inoffensive - instead of this bogus drivel that poses as The Real Thing?"
Whilst on my soapbox, I reminisced about the Arse-End Of Grunge Years, ca. '92-'94, when Rage would flog the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Temple of the Dog, Pearl Jam, Paw, Alice In Chains and even one-off flops like Candlebox and, ugh, Hammerbox (whooaah, Nelly! Whatever happened to their post-C/Z A & M album? That one sunk like the Titanic) on a weekly basis. Worse still, I even got nostalgic about it. Is it actually possible to get nostalgic about a music that drove you into a psychotic rage the first time around?